Tips for Maximizing Treatment with Braces

Orthodontics can lead to a beautiful and healthy smile, but the process requires a large commitment of money and time. You can make the most of your orthodontics treatment by following a few helpful tips when wearing braces or Invisaligns, according to Dr. Bob Bryan, a top orthodontist in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Pick a treatment plan that is best for you. Dr. Bob Bryan can help find the perfect orthodontics solution, whether it be traditional metal braces, clear braces or Invisalign, for your lifestyle. Many clients in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, have found Invisalign to be a good option because they are removable and easy to clean, unlike clear braces, which can require more careful maintenance and can be easier to stain and break.  

According to Dr. Bob Bryan, Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, can reduce inflammation in the gums and checks, which can often become irritated by braces. Special floss threaders can make it easier for orthodontics patients to get in around tight spaces under brackets and wires where food particles and bacteria can get trapped. 

Dental hygiene is important to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but cleaning your teeth and gums can be a challenge when you have orthodontic treatment like braces. Special products like an interdental toothbrush, such as Proxabrush, can help you clean underneath and around dental wires and brackets. Because Invisaligns are removable, patients are able to follow more standard brushing and flossing procedures.

Avoid certain foods while wearing braces. Dr. Bob Bryan tells his patients in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to watch for hard foods, which can break or damage orthodontics work. Ice, nuts, hard taco shells, French bread, corn on the cob, apples, raw carrots, bagels, chips, Jolly Ranchers and pizza crust all can wreak havoc. Sticky foods like licorice, gum, taffy, toffee, Starburst and caramels can get caught between brackets and wires. Sugary foods, which promote tooth decay, also need to be avoided.  Dr. Bryan suggested limiting sweetened drinks, including soda, tea and Kool-Aid, to one serving per day.

Keep routine appointments. Dr. Bryan works with his Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, patients to check on their progress and make adjustments to appliances. Missed appointments can set back treatment, which will extend both the time and the cost. If you notice any bent or loose wires at any time, Dr. Bryan suggests making an immediate appointment for repair.

Rubber bands (elastics), spacers, turn key palatal expanders and headgear are all important to your treatment, according to Dr. Bob Bryan. Not wearing appliances as directed can end up costing patients more money and extending the treatment period. Following your orthodontist’s directions, including wearing extra appliances as directed, is crucial to your success, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

Once your braces have been removed, you will enter retention, the final phase of the orthodontic treatment. Dr. Bob Bryan of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has his patients wear a retainer to hold the teeth in their new position. Without a retainer, the teeth may shift back into their original positions, which can further delay treatment.

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